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The reason Lionel Messi will not be in consideration for Ballon d’Or for first time in 17 years

Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi, PSG, Messi

Lionel Messi has been a mainstay in the consideration for the Ballon d’Or every single year for a long time now, but that will not be the case in 2022.

For the first time since 2005, the PSG star has been left off the shortlist for the prestigious French Football award, which honors the best player in the world. Via BR Football:

While this is definitely odd to see, it’s not exactly a surprise. Lionel Messi did not look like his usual self in his debut campaign with Paris. Although he did tally 14 assists in 26 league appearances, Messi netted just six times in Ligue 1 action. He scored five goals in the Champions League as well. For some, those numbers are considered productive. But for one of the best footballers to ever grace a pitch, it’s not up to par.

Messi also won’t be happy to know that Cristiano Ronaldo was included in the 30-man shortlist after his 18-goal campaign for Manchester United last term. Among the other nominees were Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, and Kylian Mbappe, among many others.

Lionel Messi last won the Ballon d’Or in 2021 when he beat out Lewandowski, to the surprise of many. The Pole scored over 50 goals across all competitions in 2020-21, yet Messi was handed the trophy simply because he led Argentina to the Copa America title.

Messi has seven Ballon d’Or’s to his name and at this point in his career, it’s unlikely he wins another. That’s unless we see shades of his former Barcelona self in 2022-23 in the French capital.

The actual winner will be announced on Monday, October 17th.